After facing months of pressure to resign, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced on March 18 that Armenia would hold snap parliamentary elections in June. The decision appears to be de-escalating tensions in the country, but it may not end months of political discord in which protesters have regularly taken to the streets calling for Pashinyan’s removal. They’ve been joined by all of Armenia’s former presidents, current President Armen Sarkissian, the powerful leadership of the Armenian church and the bulk of the military’s senior leadership. They all blame him for the country’s decisive loss in last autumn’s war with Azerbaijan, in which Armenia was forced to cede the bulk of Azerbaijani territory it had occupied since the 1990s, including parts of the ethnic Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Pashinyan appears keen to hold onto power, even accusing some of his opponents of trying to orchestrate a coup….